• What is an HOA?

    A Homeowners’ Association, or HOA, is common in many residential communities that include single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, or co-ops. The purpose of an HOA is to help maintain an aesthetically-pleasing, clean, and safe neighborhood. Neighborhoods with strong HOAs through the enforcement of the rules and regulations often hold steady or strong property values and are desirable among potential home buyers.

    The HOA board is composed of neighborhood residents, elected by fellow residents, who serve in a volunteer capacity, and sometimes representatives from the development’s planners and owners. The role of the HOA board is to address resident concerns, review requests for property changes and improvements, and implement policies that promote an overall enjoyable place to live.

     

    An HOA may have guidelines regarding the color and size of homes, approved landscaping and fencing, and whether or not play structures or trampolines are allowed in yards. Some have strict guidelines prohibiting the parking of boats and recreational vehicles in driveways, leaving trash cans visible from the street, and even the color of curtains visible through windows from the street. It is important to understand the HOA guidelines and penalties for violations that can vary from fines to a home lien. In some cases, an HOA may be able to foreclose on the property if dues are not paid or for severe violations.

     

    Most HOAs assess dues to residents that are paid monthly, quarterly, or yearly. These dues pay for the upkeep of landscaping in common areas, insurance, security, amenities like walking trails, pools, workout facilities, and neighborhood activities. Some HOAs require residents to pay for large community expenses like a clubhouse or utilities through one-time assessments in addition to normal dues, and some may have transfer fees for new property owners.

     

    HOA dues can vary widely from a few dollars per month to hundreds of dollars per month. Some HOAs charge lower fees, but then assess frequent additional costs to cover neighborhood expenses as they arise while others charge higher fees and establish a reserve fund that prevents homeowners from having more frequent, unplanned payments. Different sections of the same neighborhood may have varying amenities like maintenance-provided options, a gated entrance, or an exclusive clubhouse, and these additional options typically come with additional fees. Find the cost of the regular cleaning maintenance not covered by your dues at https://foothillsexterior.com/.

     

    When selling a property, it is the responsibility of the home seller to provide information on the HOA dues and covered amenities. While dues typically increase no more often than annually, it is advisable to inquire about planned increases or anticipated one-time assessments. HOA dues are often planned three to five years out based on estimated future expenses, planned neighborhood growth, and anticipated capital improvements.

     

    HOAs are common across the country and across community types. It is important to understand not only the current HOA fees but also the anticipated future costs to avoid an unplanned expense. While they add an additional expense to property owners, they have a long-standing record of maintaining higher property values.

     

     

  • Tips for Choosing Environmentally Friendly Home Service Contractors

     

    If you want to be more eco-friendly, you will want to make sure that any home service contractors you have in your home are also eco-friendly. Whether it’s a green carpet cleaning service or an energy-conscious electrician, it can be difficult to ensure that the company you hire is environmentally friendly, but with a little research and time, you can make sure that you are hiring a company that fits your needs.

    Eco-Friendly

    Ask Questions

     

    When you are first looking for an eco-friendly home service contractor, you want to make sure that you call or go on their website and ask questions. Include the following questions:

    • What are your green practices?
    • What are your company’s environmentally friendly beliefs?
    • Do you remove items with the environment in mind?
    • Are you certified in recycling and the environment?

     

    Ensure that you get answers to all these questions before you hire any company for your home service project.

     

    Look at Reviews

     

    When you are researching the company, make sure that you look at some reviews and see what they have to say. Some people will leave reviews about their environmentally friendly status. Ensure you take your time and go through all the reviews to ensure that you are hiring the right company.

     

    Investigate Certifications

     

    If the home service contractor claims that they have certifications, make sure that you follow up on them. Many people have been fooled by contractors claiming that they do have the certifications when they do not. Eco-fake contractors are out there. They will say that they are green when they are not. You will want to make sure the contractor you hire is legitimately environmentally friendly before you put them to work. Look for where they say they are certified from. There should be a place where you can research whether or not they have the proper certifications on their website.

     

    Take your Time

     

    If you rush around trying to find a home service company that is environmentally friendly, you may not always find them. You will need to take your time and do your research to ensure that you find a 100% green home service contractor.

     

    It is important to find a home service contractor that meets all of your environmentally friendly needs when coming to your home. Doing all the above tips will help ensure that they are green-friendly and are working to help the environment. Remember to take your time, investigate certifications, look at reviews, and ask questions before you hire any contractor to come into your home. Failing to do so can lead to hiring a company that is not as environmentally friendly as you like it to be.

  • What Does Your Home’s Exterior Say About You?

                     

    First impressions can say a lot about you. When people first see your home, they will gather a lot of information about you and your personality. For example, if you have a home that is well-taken care of, people will most likely assume that you take pride in your home and that you take good care of it. If your lawn and home appear to require a paint job or some landscaping, your home may not have the curb appeal that is the most desirable.

    It doesn’t take much to make your home look good, and the good news is that you can do a lot of it yourself. We live in an era of seemingly limitless technology at our fingertips, and there are plenty of resources for inspiration and how-to tutorials.

    All homes need at least some seasonal maintenance, and over the years, you will find that you need to take on a bigger project such as painting a fence or deck. Keeping up with the little and big odd jobs around your home will help to keep your home looking its best and help prolong the life of your property.

    Decorate with the seasons but don’t leave Christmas lights up in July. A few nice pieces are all you need to show that you enjoy celebrating the different holidays and seasons that each year brings.

    Green grass and fresh flowers will make your home feel more inviting and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Keep long grass trimmed around edges, and the lawn mowed short. Keep everything green by watering as needed. There are plenty of products on the market that will help to fertilize plants and will also help to keep weeds under control.

    Keeping your home’s exterior surfaces clean will help them look better and prolong their life. Regularly clean the roof, siding, and windows; Along with driveways, patios fences, and decks. Consult a power washing service for the best exterior cleaning methods.

    If you are looking for a change but are restricted by a budget, you could paint your front door a fun color or even stain your cement or walkway. You could even add new hardware to your garage doors. Add some shutters to your windows or paint the ones you have.

    Add some fun accents such as a garden gnome or birdbath. Just be sure not to overdo it. Less is usually more, and there is a fine line between just right and too busy. Look through home and garden magazines for ideas or watch DIY decorating shows for tips and insight. It can also help to ask friends and family for their opinion to get an outsider’s honest opinion. However, just be sure to choose colors and styles that you enjoy and that you want to live with since it is your home after all.

  • Safety Tips for Hiring In-Home Services

     

    When seeking out in-home services, it is essential to take the appropriate precautions. Having the right person for the job ensures it’s done not only correctly but also safely. You are entrusting this person with your home as well as other people. Therefore, it is vital to have a checklist that you can refer to when hiring someone for in-home services. Below we’ll discuss some essential tips to consider when seeking in-home services.

    worker knocking on door

    Service Provider Background Check

    There is nothing wrong with choosing who provides services in your home. Be sure to contact your agency to perform a provider background check, and if so, verify which method they are using. If you are uncomfortable with the agency’s inspection procedure, it’s best to go with your instincts and get another agency.

    Work with a Reputable Agency

    Some people prefer hiring individuals directly, rather than hiring someone through a home service agency. While working directly with a provider can save money, choosing to do so comes with responsibilities. As an employer, you are solely responsible for overseeing, hiring, firing, and doing background checks. By working with reputable organizations, one can take on fewer responsibilities and focus on just getting the right organization of the job.

    Inquire about provider training

    Consult the agency on training and certification requirements that service providers must meet. Basic certifications can give you peace of mind. For example, a carpet cleaning service should be IICRC certified and an electrician should be able to show you completion of an apprenticeship with the IBEW.  A reputable company website should have links to their training provider’s website. Check out http://staycleanli.com/ 

    Local Certification Requirements

    Certification requirements for home care services vary from state to state. However, questioning the agency’s certification status can help assess the legitimacy and ensure oversight by regulatory agencies. To inquire about your agency’s specific certification requirements, please contact your local agency or your local senior service department.

    Read reviews carefully

    Take the time to read reviews on Google. What previous customers have to say can provide you with valuable information about who will be coming into your home. It’s also important to pay attention to how the company responds to reviews, good or bad.

    Evaluate the Supervision Process

    When entrusting people and your home to service providers, most people usually worry about a lack of supervision. Clients have the right to ask the agency how they monitor the quality of home services. 

    In-home services are convenient and essential in today’s busy world. However, it is necessary to ensure you not only get the right person for the job but also it is done safely. These tips will go a long way in ensuring the safety of your home.

     

  • Cleaning Techniques for a Healthy Home

    It’s always nice to clean your home, but you should focus on doing some cleaning that will keep your home healthy. This means that you can minimize the risk of spreading germs, so it’s always a good idea to clean in a way that prevents these problems. You can use these tips to make your home a healthy and happy environment.

    Use Cleaning Chemicals

    Cleaning chemicals are an important part of keeping your home healthy. You can use soap and water to clean, but that won’t help you to remove most of the germs from your home, so using cleaning chemicals will help you more. You can use a variety of chemicals, but make sure that you use the correct ones for different areas.

    For example, if you’re cleaning the bathroom, then you should purchase a toilet bowl cleaner. Also, as you’re at your local market, each of the cleaning chemicals will tell you what you can use them on, so keep this in mind as you use chemicals.

    Clean Floors Often

    Many people will sweep their kitchens often, but they may overlook mopping. Sweeping is great for getting rid of visible messes in your home, but mopping will remove the unseen germs on your floor. This way, you can walk around your home and rest assured that you aren’t stepping all over germs.

    Many people won’t have a mop bucket, but you can easily use one of your nearby sinks as your bucket. Just fill it with water, put in some floor cleaning chemicals, and mop the flower. After this, you can empty and clean the sink as well.

    Dirt and allergens can build up in carpeting quickly. To keep dist and germs to a minimum, vacuum at least once a week and have the carpets cleaned on a regular basis.

    Spend Some Time Dusting

    Some people are allergic to dust and the loose particles can cause sneezing. Dust will also make your home look dirty, so it’s important to dust your rooms regularly. Spend some time looking at objects and surfaces that don’t get touched often to see if there’s dust on it. If there is, then you should use a duster or wet hand rag to remove it.

    Remember that dust will also build up on your fans. Turn off your ceiling fans and see if they have dust on them. If they do, then you can spend some time removing the dust from the fan to make it clean.

    Conclusion

    Cleaning your home comes down to doing everything in your power to minimize messes while keeping the area clean. If you don’t know what cleaning techniques will be best for a healthy home, then you should use the ideas listed in this article. This will allow you to effectively clean the dirtiest areas of your home while keeping things healthy.

  • Home Improvements to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

    TIPS ON ENERGY CONSERVATION FOR HOMEOWNERS.

    Energy conservation and efficiency have recently become popular with homeowners renovating their houses, reducing the utility bills and environmental pollution. Homeowners can now renovate their old homes to improve energy efficiency and create a conducive living atmosphere. Energy renovation strategies target the house envelope, appliances, and systems.

     

    Homeowners should transform their homes into conservative energy systems with ease since the federal government offers tax incentives for such upgrades. Such improvements include insulation, heating upgrades, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal systems.

     

    Insulating attic and walls.

    Homeowners can insulate the home envelope, such as the windows, attic, and walls. Effective insulation reduces heat loss during summer and winter, thereby cutting the energy required in order to cool or heat the house. You can hire contractors to install fiber-glass, foam, or cellulose on the walls to decrease heat loss via conduction. The contractor can use an infrared camera to inspect the integrity of the installation of the insulators.

     

    Currently, three principal insulation types include roll-on, blown-in, and polyurethane foam. Trapping cold or hot air in the attic conserves energy, positively influencing the environment and decreasing bills.

     

    Upgrade windows.

    Homeowners should replace old windows with energy-conservative weather-stripping models. A windows upgrade would create a conducive environment and save on cost, especially with single-glazed models. Energy-star recommends replacing old windows because they decrease energy consumption by up to 12% and energy bills.

     

    Good landscaping.

    Planting trees around your house can decrease its energy needs drastically. Deciduous trees foliage block sun rays from warming the house or bouncing off nearby pavements during summer. Conversely, during winter, deciduous trees lose their leaves, allowing sun-rays penetration thereby, decreasing heating  needs of the house. However, you should consult an arborist to get trees that grow faster and provide extensive shading.

     

    Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

    CFLs last longer, and the electricity consumption is lower compared to the incandescent bulb. Homeowners should install CFLs to minimize their utility bills since a CFL bulb uses approximately 27 watts to generate light as an incandescent bulb using 100 watts. Additionally, CFLs last more than 10000 hours compared to 1000 hours for incandescent bulbs. Therefore, homeowners should target frequently used bulbs consuming more than 60 watts and replace them with CFLs.

     

    Ensure that wiring and electrical circuits are up to date.

    Builders of older homes couldn’t have foreseen the vast amount of electrical devices that we now use in our homes. Updated wiring and dedicated circuitry will help the items that run on electricity in your home run more safely and efficiently. Consult with an electrician to find out what can be done in your home.

     

    Replace old appliances.

    New appliances perform better than old ones and utilize less energy. Homeowners renovating their homes should look for appliances rated by Energy-star, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. Furthermore, homeowners should use new devices and unplug old appliances to decrease electricity consumption.

     

    Efficient water heating.

    Homeowners can boost the efficiency of hot water systems by following three key strategies. First, homeowners should decrease the heating temperature to a warm level. Second, insulation of water lines to prevent heat loss and rapid cool offs, and third, adopt low-flow shower fixtures. Experts recommend installing systems that use small pumps to distribute warm water to various outlets within the house.

     

     

     

  • Things to Consider When Hiring a Locksmith

    Misplacing your keys or having issues with your lock can be disappointing, especially when it happens on a momentous day. A bad day with your lock or key will call for locksmith services.

     

    The locksmith will prove beneficial in the circumstances such as:

    • Locking yourself out of your house
    • Broken or lost keys
    • Break-ins
    • Recoding an electronic keypad
    • Forgetting the safe combination

    Hiring a locksmith saves you time by addressing your lock issues and moving on with your daily activities. The services provide peace of mind as you’re assured of acquiring the right solutions to your lock and key problems.

    Here are some of the factors that you should keep in mind when hiring a locksmith.

    Experience

    It would help if you opted for a locksmith who has gained experience by providing the services for a significant period. An experienced locksmith will know how to handle and work with various lock systems.

    Location

    It is imperative to find a locksmith located in your area. The locksmith should be available to provide solutions to your key or lock issues. A locksmith that is miles away will do you no good. Start by searching reputable locksmiths in your area to learn more about their services and capabilities.

    Services Offered

    Different locksmiths will provide various services. Check out the type of services or locks that the locksmith works with first. Consider your situation and determine whether the locksmith is the right candidate for the task.

    Understand your needs and the lock system you’re working with to hire a locksmith with the right qualifications to handle your system. Check whether the locksmith provides emergency services or software configuration of electronic keypads.

    Affordability

    The cost of the services should also be a driving factor in hiring a locksmith. You don’t need emergency services only but also affordable services. Your key or lock issue may affect you on a bad day, and you need someone to help you at an affordable rate.

    As much as the services are affordable, determine the quality and find a locksmith that gives you value for your money.

    Availability

    Ensure that you check out the locksmith’s time of operation. Check if the locksmith provides emergency services and reliable enough to show up when called upon even at the wee hours. Find a locksmith who will keep in touch with you and avail themselves to clients when needed.

    Safety

    You should ensure that you hire a locksmith that won’t compromise the security of your home. Thus, you should hire a locksmith who is trustworthy and honest. Hiring a credible and reputable locksmith means that you hire a professional that won’t tamper with the integrity of your locks.

    Hiring a locksmith from a reputable company is recommended to uphold the integrity of your home’s locks and security.

    Take time to find a professional locksmith to protect your locking system. Weigh your options and settle for the right professional.

    For helpful information visit Asafs-locksmith.com 

  • Make Your Spring Cleaning a Breeze This Year!

    Regardless of the size of your space (or your aspirations) here are some tips to help you achieve a clean and tidy living space. And remember, you don’t need to accomplish everything in one day, – or an entire weekend. Taking a break to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air is what spring is all about.

     

    Start High and Work Down

     

    Look up! Dust off high to reach nooks and crannies. Cobwebs often go unnoticed as they are out of our line of sight. Think light fixtures, the tops of window sills, doors and smoke detectors.

     

    Next, Everything at Eye-Level This can be where the majority of the work will be. Some folks prefer to dust/wipe down around objects. However, (because after all, this is a seasonal clean) consider removing the objects on your cabinets and counters and clean off the entire area. Tv screens and other large objects should also be wiped down. Remove the dirt and debris behind and around everything that has been accumulating over the last year. And remember to dust off the objects before putting them back. Consider rearranging them as you go- it’s nice to give your clean space a fresh look while you’re at it. Windows and curtains can be tough to tackle but so worth it! In your bathroom, it’s time to take a good look at that shower curtain and liner. Do they need to be laundered or replaced?

     

    Now- Everything from Waist Level and Below This includes windowsills, baseboards, floors and furniture. Also, don’t neglect areas below appliances and heavy furniture where you can reach. This brings us to cleaning the inside of your appliances- stove, refrigerator, and even your washer and dryer. Wash rugs or take them outside if they can’t be laundered to shake out the dust. Vacuum, sweep, mop and if you are feeling super ambitious, (and especially if you have pets) consider cleaning your carpets, click here for more! In your bathroom tackle stubborn soap scum and don’t forget your faucets and shower heads. These may need some TLC from years of hard water build-up. Lastly, wipe off your light switches.

     

    Slow and Steady Wins the Race This sequence works well for an entire residence if you live in a smaller space. For larger areas, a room-by-room approach might be more advisable. If others are living in your home, consider assigning tasks to divide and conquer. This is also a great opportunity for children to assess what they no longer need in their rooms and tackle some cleaning in their own spaces. Happy cleaning!

  • HVAC Basics: What Is HVAC, and What Does It Stand For?

    You may have seen the term “HVAC” in advertisements and articles about air conditioning and heating and wondered what it stands for. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. These three elements work together to provide a comfortable indoor environment. A properly working HVAC unit regulates temperature, controls humidity and helps keep the indoor air clean.

    Types of HVAC Systems

     

    HVAC is often used to describe ducted, forced-air heating and air conditioning systems. However, the term also applies to other types of systems, including ductless mini-splits and heat pumps. These systems are available for both residential and business use.

     

    In ducted systems, conditioned air is distributed through ducts. Usually, both an air conditioner and furnace are connected to a ducted system. However, depending on the climate in the area where you live, a ducted system may include only a furnace or an air conditioner.

     

    Ductless mini-splits do not require ducts to distribute conditioned air. Instead, indoor blower cassettes are connected to an outdoor condenser by a conduit routed through a small hole in the wall. The conduit contains wiring, refrigerant and condensate lines. Each cassette has its own controls, allowing regulation of temperature in a single room or zone. When a room is not in use, the blower can be turned off without affecting comfort in other rooms.

     

    Heat pumps provide heating and cooling in a single unit. They are used in both forced-air and ductless systems. Heat pumps are energy efficient because they do not use energy to produce heat. Instead, they move heat from one place to another. Electricity is used to power fans, motors and blowers.

     

    There are several types of heat pumps. The most common are air-source systems that extract heat energy from the outside air during winter and route it indoors. Ground-source, or geothermal, heat pumps extract heat energy from the earth. During the summer, both systems operate on the principles of refrigeration by extracting heat from the interior of a building and routing it outside.

     

    Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality

     

    Ventilation brings in fresh outdoor air and expels stale indoor air. This air exchange contributes to good indoor air quality. In addition, HVAC units have air filters that capture airborne particulates. In ducted systems, filters prevent pollutants from entering ducts and the living space. In ductless systems, air is not distributed through ducts, so pollutants are not transferred between rooms.

     

    There are several accessories available that work with HVAC systems to increase ventilation and keep indoor air clean, including humidifiers and dehumidifiers, whole-house ventilation systems, UV lights that kill pathogens and air cleaners.

     

    Licensed HVAC contractors are familiar with these systems and components. Most reliable companies offer repair services, preventive maintenance and new installations. The result is a well-functioning heating and cooling system that keeps humidity and temperatures at comfortable levels. HVAC professionals also analyze indoor air quality and recommend good practices and products to keep the air that you breathe clean and fresh.

    For more information, visit a Raleigh, NC HVAC contractor website.

     

     

  • Five Essential Steps To An Organized Home

    We regularly talk about the organization, and a large portion of us concur we could utilize somewhat more of it in our lives. What about slightly more of it in your home? As the years pass by, our homes will, in general, get jumbled and loaded with stuff. On the off chance that you have kids, a life partner, or other relatives living with you, the messiness is aggravated significantly more. One method for keeping the messiness under control is to get organized. In any case, this is more difficult than one might expect for a great many people.

    Here are five steps to an increasingly organized home to assist you with keeping it clean and mess-free:

    Make day by day objectives

    Instead of going through a long time organizing and cleaning, make little, short day by day objectives for yourself and anyone else in the family unit. At the point when you do it a little at once consistently, it will assist everything with remaining progressively organized.

    Put resources into storage

    There are many storage alternatives accessible. It is justified even despite the speculation to get a few unique kinds of storage that work for your requirements and then use it well.

    Clean out once per month on a month to month premise

    Make it a reason to experience everything (racks, drawers, and so on) and clean out the old. Do a little smaller than standard Spring cleaning once and month and don’t permit the jumble to accumulate. It will be a lot simpler to get and remain organized.

    Five Essential Steps To An Organized Home

    Make a spot for everything

    Take time to locate a legitimate place for everything. On the off chance that you can’t discover a spot for it, do you truly require it? Please give it a home and then keep it in that place. Give everybody access to the family know to keep things in their legitimate spot, and you will have an increasingly organized home.

    Offer the duty

    It’s never a simple assignment for one individual to attempt to organize a whole family. Have everybody in the house contribute with various errands and undertakings and by organizing their very own things too.

    These tips should assist you with getting increasingly organized in your home, which makes it look better, makes it simpler to discover things you need, and causes you to feel better for being in a clean and clean home.

    Very frequently, we see individuals that are energized to get organized and attempt to eat the entire elephant. Shockingly, you will wind up going from space to room, doing a smidgen of work in everyone, except never genuinely appear to get anything achieved. To wipe out this, be sure you are focused distinctly on the zone you are as of now working in.

    When you have this room clean, move to the following one. On the off chance that you should discover something that has a place in the kitchen, it is currently organized, and you can without much of a stretch spot the thing where it ought to go. Remember that you are just working in the room you have assigned for that day.

    This straightforward advance will kick you off in your organized home. When you have your home organized, it is anything but difficult to keep it that way. You need to make yourself a procedure and stick to it.

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